Large Dolphin Population Discovered in Mangroves of Bangladesh

05/02/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Thousands of rare Irrawaddy dolphins have been found in Bangladeshi waters, a wildlife advocacy group said Wednesday, a hopeful sign for a vulnerable species found only in small numbers elsewhere. Nearly 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins, which are related to orcas or killer whales, were found living in freshwater regions of Bangladesh's Sundarbans mangrove forest and the adjacent waters of the Bay of Bengal, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced. 6

Conservationists claim to have found thousands of rare Irrawaddy dolphins on the Bangladesh coast, but warn that the newly discovered population is under threat from climate change and fishing. The largest known populations of Irrawaddy dolphins to date have numbered in the low hundreds or less - at least 125 in the Mekong river, 77 in the Malampaya Sound in the Philippines and up to 100 in the Mahakam River, Indonesia. 4

Dolphin and porpoise species that have adapted to rivers and deltas around the world have long been considered some of the most vulnerable of marine mammals because of their restricted habitats. But in the great weaving of mangrove-fringed islets and channels that make up the sprawling coast of Bangladesh, biologists have found a thriving population of another species that marine mammal experts had also thought depleted - the Irrawaddy dolphin. 1

  1. Dot Earth: Asian Dolphin Less Rare Than Thought (NY Times Science)
  2. Large Dolphin Population Discovered in Mangroves of Bangladesh (Yale Environment 360)
  3. 6,000 Rare Dolphins Found in South Asia (Yahoo Environment)
  4. Thousands of Rare Dolphins Found (The Guardian)
  5. Good News on the Dolphin Front (Reuters Blog)
  6. 6,000 Rare Dolphins Found Off Bangladesh (MSNBC)


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